As the world celebrates the Global Tourism Day, the Coastal towns of Kenya today received a boost as more than 250 visitors landed in Mombasa. The visitors jetted into the Moi International Airport Mombasa aboard two flights.
A Turkish Airline was the first to land with about 70 visitors while the second airline, Italian charter flight, landed moments later with 180 tourists from the Malpensa International Airport.
”This is exciting news for the Kenyan Coast as we join the rest of the world in observing Tourism Day,” said Sam Ikwaye, Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (Kahc) Coast branch Executive officer.
But even as tourists flocked the Coastal towns, Nakuru County is hosting this year’s national celebrations to mark the iconic day. The event, which doesn’t charge an entry fee, will showcase its tourism capital with visits to sampled attraction sites like Lake Nakuru, majestic wildlife camps and other cultural exhibitions.
Nakuru County, the fourth largest in Kenya, boast of robust tourism attraction and hospitality, offering soul healing gateways for both local and international visitors.
“This is a wonderful place. We have great sites, and Lake Nakuru is one of our biggest attractions. Our vibrant hospitality industry will make you feel right at home,” says Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui.
With this year’s theme dubbed ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation,’ the event in Nakuru will give industry players an opportunity to exchange ideas on how to tap on the global tech-savvy population resulting to the country’s tourism growth.
Kenya has for a long time struggled to bridge the digital gab resulting in slow growth in the hospitality sector.
”The truth is that digitization in tourism transformation has not been harnessed adequately in the country. There is quite a lot that can be done from service delivery to destination management, but many government programmes are still manual,” says Ikwaye.
Despite a global fear of increasing unemployment brought about by digital evolution, the tourism sector is probably the only industry that would not record job losses in this regard because tourism requires human to human touch. Technology will, thus, only supplement the human labor.
It is, therefore, the onus of the industry players and the private sector to develop more in technology to realize this potential.
Expanding near-universal high-speed internet connectivity, mobile payments, mobile platform visibility, search and geolocation technologies can only supplement government programmes, like the recently authorized direct flights to the United States, to shape the country’s tourism sector.